Sunday, 24 March 2013


day two and we quickly run into an engineering problem
the overnight frost has turned the texture of the snow from sticky to crumbly
swiftly the woodle improvises a solution
she fills a mould with snow then disappears inside
to fetch a large bowl of water to pour on top
i am full of admiration
the water diluted show is even stickier than before
slowly we add more layers to our structure
we specialise in our chosen roles
woodle is the blockmeister
fashioning ice blocks out of snow and water
i am the ice sculptor
stacking new blocks ever higher and filling in the cracks
our snow house is becoming so tall that it now resembles less an igloo
and more one of those patio chimineas
as woodle's energies diminish
i dig deep and drive the operation on
demanding the last couple of blocks that will crown the roof
finally all is complete and we collapse exhausted inside
we have built ourselves a snug snow cave



the first layer is the toughest
it takes ten and a half large blocks to complete the circumference
but each succeeding layer becomes easier as we slope inwards
the snow is perfect
plentiful and sticky and easily compactible into strong blocks
we take turns making and stacking blocks and filling in the gaps with mortar
totally engrossed in our work and proud of our achievements
as the light gradually fades
windows prove something of a challenge
we are over ambitious and the first lintel we construct collapses
we hit on a taller narrower design organically fashioned into a graceful arch
it occurs to me what an ideal building material snow is
for children to learn about construction and engineering
it is safe and mouldable and remouldable
it teaches the principles of compression and loadbearing
spanning and vaulting
even cantilevers can be built in
as night falls we are five or six courses up - about four feet
more snow forecast tonight
tomorrow a roof!

Saturday, 16 March 2013


the ides are come...
but not yet gone
it is around two o'clock in the afternoon
and i am starting to feel more than a little rough
my late lunch of carrot and coriander soup is producing mysterious hot flushes
outside i shiver in the chilly march air
by the time i arrive home from the factory
i am feeling weak and disorientated
by eight i am tucked up in bed
the night is full of strange nightmares
churning repetitive dissonant thoughts
then some time in the wee small hours come the runs
and the bottom quite literally falls out of my world
i am battered by waves of nausea
going to lie down again fends them away
but further dashes to the bathroom ensue
as my system flushes itself clean
beware the ides of march

Friday, 15 March 2013


She stands so tall with her head in the air
The girl in the fountain
She dances in the spray without any care
The girl in the fountain

She waits by the gates of the factory
I count down the hours till I'm going to be free
She waits for me
The girl in the fountain

She makes an immaculate study in bronze
The girl in the fountain
She breaks herself free of coventional bonds
The girl in the fountain

She teases all the boys with her airs and graces
She stands unmoved by their amorous gazes
She amazes
The girl in the fountain

Throw her a coin
Make her happy
Close your eyes
Make a wish
Time to wake up and smell the chocolate
Such an innocent pleasure

She stands so tall with her head in the air
The girl in the fountain
She dances in the spray without any care
The girl in the fountain

She waits by the gates of the factory
I count down the hours till I'm going to be free
She waits for me
The girl in the fountain

Thursday, 14 March 2013


tugging at the bonds and chains
of the past and the future
searching for the NOW
getting in touch
making contact
admiring the silhouettes of winter trees
the subtle control of birds in flight
the shifting shadows that hide from the low-angled sunlight
detecting the breath of wind upon my cheek
the blood pumping in my veins
the muscles straining in my body
the emotions swelling in my heart
the thoughts flowing through my febrile cerebral cortex

Monday, 11 March 2013


Winding through these sleepy hills
Don't know which way I'm facing
The mists descending thick and fast
Can't find my destination

Ideas and ideologies have fallen in my lap
Conflicting messages
Must take care to mind the gap

I need a compass in my head
I need a blanket on my bed

Saturday, 9 March 2013


I'm a hopeless romantic
I still believe in love
And even in these cruel times
I can't give up on love

Well I don't have much money
I'm not in property
But my heart is beating strong
It doesn't miss a beat

Teardrops fall
Duties call

Well I don't have a Smartphone
No fancy gadgetry
And a walk in the moonlight
Is my kind of poetry

Just a hopeless romantic
All alone in the world
Such a hopeless romantic
It feels so absurd

You can call me old-fashioned
You can call me naive
But you can't crush the spirit
That's what I believe

I'm a chancer
A romancer
Asking questions
Looking for answers
Oh - such a hopeless romantic!


it is the second occasion
on which i have tried to bend the local landscape to my will
earlier we have reached the banks of the muddy avon
where a towpath snakes away promisingly into the distance
i ask a pair of old men out for a morning walk
if we can follow the river's course to clifton
instead they point us through queen's square and up past the cathedral
where we stop at a music shop
i enquire about their range of guitars
and try out a fender telecaster made in mexico
funny how i can never think of anything to play in these places
following our noses
we ascend the steep flank of brandon hill below the cabot tower
views over grey misty somerset
there is a genteel feel here among the georgian terraces and greenery
kids with shiny painted go-karts
and a superior play area
as we the top the crest of the hill and begin to descend
i stop a middle-aged couple to ask if this is the way to clifton
the man pauses for a moment
then with a thoughtful expression delivers a response after my own heart
'it could be' he says mysteriously
we emerge from the park on jacob wells road
at the foot of clifton hill
right outside the hope and anchor
one look through the large inviting front windows are enough
lined up along the bar are four or five ale pumps
the bar itself is bedecked with bundles of hops
the friendly barmaid humours my banter
and we find a corner table to pour hungrily over the menus
veggie burger, felafel and pints of caramely kingstone ale hit the spot
now it is time to lose ourselves in clifton village

Friday, 8 March 2013


i make no great claims for my work
if i write or record a song that satisfies me it gives me a buzz
if my words or music resonate with others so much the better
but i do think that art should not be underestimated
for it has the power to move the soul and awaken the spirit
a novel concept in a culture that thinks with its head
whose body oftentimes acts predominantly as a mode of transport for its brain
i guess we all have our personal fortes
some possess the power of oration
the capacity to move others with their firey rhetoric and charisma
others have the gift of rationality
the command of unimpeachable logic and argument
as for me
i have been seduced by a different bedfellow
a lover who entrances with her emotional caress
who bewitches with her beauty
enchants with her poetry
charms with her whimsy
she is an artistic savant
a mage of metaphor
a playful lady
not averse to occasional deceit
in the service of her creativity
while pursuing the utmost integrity in her dealings
this muse of mine is my guide
she lights my way
and i humbly follow

Thursday, 7 March 2013


a late night
video making
fortunately a late start too
alone in the house
i put on remnants
turning it up nice n loud
the soundtrack to the morning shower
i was working on this track exactly a year ago
the song was a milestone
it took no prisoners - musically or lyrically
it was the heaviest thing i had ever recorded
an abrasive and ominous backing track of saturated multitracked guitars
energised by a sinuous overdriven lead riff
and an emotionally charged no-holds-barred vocal performance
captured on the very first take
a few rotations of this track
and i am nicely set up for my journey to the factory
it is a cold damp affair pedalling through sheets of heavy drizzle
yet energising nonetheless
twenty minutes later
i arrive sodden and dripping at the factory
where like the droplets of rain on my waterproofs
the energy quickly evaporates
the barbed comments
the listening walls
the omnipresent flicker of computer monitors
all suck up my energy
corridors and staircases that echo with an empty silence
somewhere far away
behind blank fire doors
staff are tap tap tapping at their keyboards
i doubt if i will see most of them today
the massed ranks of automobiles assembled outside in the carpark
are the only betrayal of human presence
waves of alienation and disconnection batter me
as the reality of high-tech wage slavery kicks in
a subtle bludgeoning over the head
with a very blunt instrument
does nobody else feel this way?


Oops - technical problems...just click on the dodo!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


he reels at the explosion
dizzy and disorientated
staggers momentarily in the aftermath
shattered fragments
scattered shrapnel
a molotov cocktail of anger confusion and fear
a feeling of betrayal
a punch in the guts
an undermining
ripples of resentment
torrents of tears
cascades of curses
blood in his ears
a red mist descending
the room shrinks
glows red
a meltdown
the muscles in his neck and shoulders feel tight
his temples throb
brain pressed against cranium
arteries narrowing
stress hormones flooding his bloodstream
whatever the chemicals are up to
he doesnt like it
shallow breathing
hackles raised
up come the defences
fight or flight
something has to give

Monday, 4 March 2013


holding hands
we look out of the picture window
across rolling warwickshire fields of sheep and pasture
we talk of cabbages and kings
and other silly things
who is this chap called henry?
and what is he doing in arden?
(henley-in-arden, get it?)
just outside the station
she picks up a funny lump of concrete
little stones held together by dusty cement
an unlikely treasure
to be taken home later
and smashed to pieces with a hammer
we stroll into town
mad fools among the throngs of earnest sightseers
the pub is crowded for sunday lunch
but we get lucky and audaciously nab a table
she tucks into her bangers and mash with gusto
and downs her happy monkey smoothie in one
while i happily quaff my pint of st davids ale
at the museum of mechanical art and design
we press buttons and set off movement sensors
setting in motion all manner of weird mechanisms
her favourite is an old-fashioned circus scene
where a cannonball is fired through a hoop held aloft by a dodo
into the mouth of an eagerly waiting crocodile
we make our way down to the river to see the swans
crossing the avon on mediaeval stone bridges
heavy with age
on the train home
we interrupt the silence of the crowded compartment
laughing and giggling at outlandish peppa pig plot lines
mr panda's head lopped off by a stray helicopter rotor blade
henry hamster electrocuted after sticking his paw in a socket
a mad day out indeed

Saturday, 2 March 2013



Where did they go
Those magnificent beasts
Hunted down and slaughtered
Those magnificent beasts

Where did they fly
Those magnificent birds
Fallen from the sky
Those magnificent birds

A fading memory
An old photograph
A defunct taxonomy
An epitaph

Where did they swim
Those magnificent fish
Stolen from the sea
Those magnificent fish

A fading memory
An old photograph
A defunct taxonomy
An epitaph

Where did they go
Those magnificent beasts